The Wilmington Blue Rocks scored a run in the top of the ninth to nip the K-Tribe 6-5 Monday night at Grainger Stadium. Wilmington’s Jose Duarte lead of the top of the ninth inning with a double. He advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a Kyle Collins wild pitch. Collins (2-2) picked up the loss, going two innings and giving up just two hits.
The back and forth battle began in the bottom of the first inning when Max Ramirez singled home Chris De La Cruz, putting Kinston up 1-0. Down 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth, Chris Gimenez hit a solo home run. It was his team leading eleventh of the season. Kinston kept the inning going with a Jose Constanza bases loaded double, scoring two and tying the score at four. Down 5-4, Kinston tied the score again in the seventh inning with a solo home run from Max Ramirez. Ramirez went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Wilmington reliever Yovani D’Amico (3-0) picked up the win for Wilmington, throwing three innings of relief and giving up one earned run. Kevin Dixon started for Kinston, going six innings and surrendering five earned runs. Eric Stiller pitched a scoreless seventh from the bullpen for the K-Tribe.
Kinston returns to action Tuesday night at Grainger Stadium for game two of the three game series. K-Tribe starter Sung-Wei Tseng will take on Wilmington’s Rowdy Hardy. Hardy has the lowest ERA in the Carolina League at 1.22, Tseng has the ninth lowest ERA at 3.12. Hardy is 5-0 on the season. First pitch scheduled for 7pm.